Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

I found that studying for tests or quizzes was the hardest part of school, mostly because I could never just sit down and review notes. I could not focus on the material and when I could manage to get ten to fifteen minutes in, I did not retain any information. Because of my inability to focus and study properly, my grades never reflected my true ability, which only discouraged me in the long run. However, I was diagnosed with A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder), which meant that there was a reason as to why I struggled so much. I learned that it would make studying much more difficult than the average person, but not impossible. It was up to me to want to push myself to find a way that worked for me.
Before & after receiving my diagnosis, I was able to find a test preparation technique that worked for me. I found that writing down flashcards kept me engage at the task at hand. It forced me to become an active learner and the repetition made retaining the information that much easier. After completing the flashcards, I recite each at least three times. Following the three times, I would continue to say each one out loud and when I knew the answer or the term, I would take that card out of the pile and make a new pile of cards containing information that I had learned. I continue this process until I am able to recite each card without hesitation.
Although this process seems tedious, it worked for me because it made me involved throughout the entire studying process. It works so well that I am able to use it in all of my classes, including AP Calculus when I need to memorize a difficult formula or equation. To add a twist I would Facetime my classmates to play with the flashcards like a Trivia game. Many times we spent hours of fun together virtually without realizing we were really studying. Looking back at my experience, I realized that regardless of any personal challenges, we can all find a way to succeed on our own terms and make it fun at the same time.

Andrea from California
High School Senior
Saint Joseph High School